Annually, there are seven billion tons of debris deposited on beaches, which is not only a health hazard for us who use them recreationally but also an environmental hazard for the marine community which depends on them. That is why it was so important to me to organise a beach clean last weekend: bringing together an amazing group of people to tackle the problem.
We headed down to South Ayrshire depot to collect our litter picking equipment. We also managed to sneak a quick tour of the facilities and learn exactly what happens to our litter when we throw it in our wheelie bins.
This was the paper and plastic collected from Ayrshire’s wheelie bins on Friday. So where exactly is this all going now? The team at the depot explained;
- The contents of your blue bin are processed in Irvine at a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) where the paper, card, plastic bottles and cans are separated out and sold on to recycling markets.
- The contents of the brown bin are taken to a centralised composting plant in Skares, where it is turned into compost before being used in landscaping works etc.
- The glass is taken to their waste transfer station in Ayr, before being bulked up and transported to the glass recycling plant in Alloa where it is turned into new glass bottles.
Recycling waste materials provides an opportunity to put less waste to landfill, reduces air pollution and energy use, and reduces the impact of extracting materials and is a more efficient use of finite resources.
After our tour, we headed to Unity Grill who kindly offered to host us before the beach clean. Their motto is ‘Eat Well. Do Good’. We certainly ate well – the food was AMAZING, with a great choice of vegan and gluten free options.
Unity Grill are a social restaurant with the community at heart, where 100% of the profits are used to challenge food poverty. Angela, the owner sat down to chat with us where she explained that everyone is welcome, regardless of whether you can pay for your meal or not. At Unity Grill, you have the option to volunteer to cover the cost of your meal.
Fueled up and ready to go, we headed down to Ayr beach and in true Scottish fashion, got completely soaked.
Although the beach wasn’t all that bad, much of what we did find was mainly plastic straws and bottle tops.
We managed to collect five bags of litter. Shout out to Adventures with Amanda and Kathryn In The Clouds for collecting the most litter and winning the personalised cups.
It was such a fun day and great to see so many people pull together for such an important cause. While beach cleans alone will never be the answer to plastic pollution, they are an incredible example of community spirit. They serve to educate and raise awareness on a mass scale. Every piece of plastic we remove is a victory for our beaches and provides evidence to support campaigns calling for packaging and business reform.
Thank you so much again to Unity Grill for hosting us for the best brunch EVER! And Rocket Monkey Coffee for fueling us. Also, True Glasgow for providing transport and the team at South Ayrshire Council for providing the litter picking equipment and supporting us throughout. And last but not least my gal Bloggers Who Brunch Glasgow for bringing us all together. 💙 Chuffed to bits!
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Images by Power Puff Travel and myself.